Investing in Coaches at CrossFit El Cid

CrossFit El Cid

In September, I was down in West Palm Beach for work. So, I decided to drop in at CrossFit El Cid.

Carl Penney, the general manager of the gym, was gracious enough to do a podcast recording with me, and then I got a chance to workout under one of his Coach’s watchful eyes. Although the workout was a challenge in the oppressive Florida heat – Annie with a mile run buy-in and buy-out – I enjoyed it all the same.

Plus, I love dropping in at gyms to get a taste of what others experience. CrossFit is the same most anywhere I go, but what makes it different is the Coaches and the experience they deliver. Penney realizes this, something he shared in the episode of Box Talk we recorded.

He wants to have amazing Coaches who are fully invested in his gym. They need to be full-time staff who can make a living off their training. Which is hard to do, mind you. And he realized they couldn’t do that coaching only group classes. Thus, the push for personal training at El Cid.

But it’s gone beyond simply having the option for Coaches to take it or leave it. Penney invests in them and helps them get clients, marketing and throwing in deals to help a Coach get started. He understands if they succeed, the gym succeeds as a whole.

However, it hasn’t come easily or quickly. As he shared in the podcast, it’s taken time to grow. In fact, it’s still growing. But while I was there, I got to experience the incredible Coaches that El Cid has. They were attentive to details and ran a great class. I was introduced and made to feel welcome. It makes sense why Penney wants to give them a livelihood with options to grow their salary and influence.

So, take a listen to the episode and be inspired. Ask how you can help your Coaches pursue this as a full-time career. And then get after it.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at